Shuttlesworth Hailed As Fearless Crusader

Source: Barry M. Horstman / USA Today

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With stirring words and imagery, luminaries from the political, religious and entertainment worlds hailed the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth at his funeral Monday as someone who fearlessly put his life on the line “to confront the evils of our society” and left America forever changed by leading the crusade to eradicate segregation.

The governor of Alabama, members of Congress, civil rights leaders and prominent religious figures were among those who lavishly and often emotionally praised Shuttlesworth in the early stages of what is scheduled to be a four-hour service at the Faith Chapel Christian Center. Hundreds attended.

Calling Shuttlesworth “one of the founding fathers of the new America,” Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said of the pastor who spent his professional life here and in Cincinnati: “When others were afraid to speak up, … Fred Shuttlesworth put his body on the line.”

Like many others, Rep. Terri Sewell, the first black congresswoman from Alabama, credited the civil rights icon with paving the way, often with his own blood, for opening the door to once unimaginable possibilities in her life and that of countless other blacks.

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